Iran starts up second round of nuclear talks with world powers
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) looks at Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili (R) leaving the podium after their meeting on the sidelines of the Iran's talks with world powers representatives on Iran's nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty. (AFP PHOTO /ILYAS OMAROV)
Iran and six world powers resumed a new round of negotiations in Kazakhstan on Friday, aiming to resolve a decade-long dispute over an Iranian nuclear program the West suspects aims to give Tehran the capability to build an atom bomb.
“The plenary session just began this morning at the Rixos,” an official told AFP, referring to a five-star hotel in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
In what is the second such meeting this year, the six powers- the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany- hope Iran will accept their offer of modest relief from economic sanctions in return for curbs in its most sensitive nuclear work.
“The plenary session just began this morning,” a Western official said.
For years, Iran has refused to meet international demands for it to stop enriching uranium, arguing it does so only for peaceful purposes such as medical research and generation of energy.
The Almaty meeting is expected to last until Saturday and diplomats say any breakthrough is unlikely.